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How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

written by: Lisa Lambson•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/20/2010

Learn how to create and use an editorial calendar to help generate interest and traffic to your blog. It'll help keep you on track as a blogger, too.

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    Why Have an Editorial Calendar?

    Whether you have one blog or twenty, it is always important that in addition to posting quality content, it must be posted on a regular basis. If you only put up a blog post here and there when you happen to think of it, you will hurt your traffic. By posting on a regular basis, people will come back to see what you have to say or better yet, they will subscribe to your RSS feed.

    One of the best ways to make sure your posting doesn’t get behind is to create an editorial calendar for blogging. Better yet, with an editorial calendar for blogging in place, you can write your posts ahead and have them automatically post whenever you tell it to.

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    Types of Editorial Schedules

    The type of editorial schedule that you create really doesn’t matter. It should be whatever works best for you. You could use a special software program, use Google or Yahoo calendar, an excel spreadsheet or a free calendar that you get from the hardware store. The point is not to spend a bunch of time creating this big complicated schedule. That is called procrastinating. The point is to come up with a clear, organized schedule of what you are going to put on your blog. You can plan it a week ahead, a month ahead or even a year ahead. Keep in mind, this is a plan. It can and may need to change as you go which is fine. At least when you have an editorial calendar for blogging to refer to, when you need to adjust it, it is easy to manage and you never have to worry at the last minute what you are going to post that day.

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    Creating the Calendar

    Creating the calendar is simply a matter of determining how many posts you want to publish for the week or month; coming up with the major topics you want to cover and taking into consideration any products that you may be promoting at that time. Then, begin to break the major topics into bite sized chunks that you can plug into your schedule until all your posts are filled. Move things around as you need to so that the posting schedule makes sense. For example, a post about how to catch a fish should probably come before the one about how to filet a fish.

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    Patterning Your Audience

    A very helpful idea that many blogmasters use that makes your posting easier and will help draw your readers back to your blog is patterning your audience. You can pattern your audience to come back at certain times because they are used to when you post things. It is a pattern that they can follow. For example, you could do a product review every Wednesday and people would learn this and make a point to check back on Wednesdays for the review if that interests them. In fact, you could attach a theme to every day of the week depending on what your blog topic is. Perhaps on Mondays you could post about industry news. Tuesdays a product review. Wednesdays could be tips and techniques. Thursdays could be a new, original article and Fridays a guest columnist. This makes planning your editorial schedule and creating your posts ahead of time much easier and keeps your readers happy.